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Extended Audio Sample Work like Any Other: A Novel, by Virginia Reeves Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Virginia Reeves Narrator: Dan John Miller Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Roscoe T. Martin, the son of an Alabama coal foreman, set his sights on a new type of power spreading at the start of the twentieth century: electricity. It became his training, his life’s work. But when his wife Marie inherits her father’s failing farm, Roscoe has to give it up, with great cost to his pride and sense of self, to rescue the farm for the sake of his marriage and his family. Realizing he might lose them all if he doesn’t improve the place, he enlists the help of his black farmhand, Wilson, and begins to use his skills as an electrician to siphon energy from the state, ushering in a period of bounty and happiness on land that had been falling to ruin. Even the love of Marie and their child seems back within Roscoe’s grasp.

Then a young man working for the power company is electrocuted after stumbling on Roscoe’s illegal lines, and everything changes: Roscoe is arrested for manslaughter, Wilson is leased to a coal mine, the farm once more starts to deteriorate without electricity, and Marie abandons her husband as he goes to trial, leaving him to face his twenty-year sentence alone. No longer an electrician or even a farmer, an unmoored Roscoe must now carve out his place in a violent new world. Climbing the ranks from dairy hand to librarian to “dog boy,” an inmate who aids the guards track down escapees, he is ultimately forced to ask himself once more if his work is just work or if the price of his crimes—for him and his family—is greater than he ever let himself believe.

Gorgeously spare and brilliantly insightful, Work like Any Other announces a major work from an incredible young talent—a deeply affecting story of dispossession, injustice, and redemption that explores the lengths to which the broken among us push forward.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Work like Any Other is an exceptional novel told in clear, direct, and starkly beautiful language. Virginia Reeves has a gift for bringing to life all the tensions that emerge wherever people, place, and progress collide. I absolutely loved it.”

    Kevin Powers, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A consummately well-written, deeply affecting, thought-provoking American historical novel of hard labor, broken dreams, moral dilemmas, violence, racism, and the intricacies of marriage, parenthood, and friendship…Reeves’ gripping, dynamically plotted, and profound novel will resonate on different frequencies for men and women and spark soul-searching and heated discussion.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Thoughtful, absorbing…In this engrossing, vividly drawn debut, Reeves delivers a dazzlingly authentic portrait of a restless, remorseful mind.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Reeves’ stunning prose elevates this story of grief and redemption into an unforgettable portrait of the Jim Crow South.”

    BookPage

  • “A striking debut about love and redemption, the heavy burdens of family and guilt and learning how to escape them. Powerfully told and lyrically written, there is not a false note in this book. Reeves is a major new talent.”

    Philipp Meyer, author of The Son

  • “The world of this exquisite novel—1920s Alabama—hasn’t let go of me since I finished it. It’s gorgeous, painful, original, and so true in all its details. Reeves writes with incredibly intelligent compassion and in Roscoe Martin has created an extraordinary man who more than earns his place among the complicated population of the literary South. Thick with dread and beauty, this is a stunning chronicle of a time, a place, and a mind.”

    Fiona McFarlane, author of The Night Guest

  • “Roscoe and his wife, Marie, share their perspectives on the past. That their recollections and viewpoints often diverge adds depth to this novel…This makes for some prose so lovely that it strains credulity.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A BookPage Top Pick for March 2016
  • A 2016 Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize Longlist Selection
  • A 2016 Man Booker Prize Longlist Selection
  • A BookPage Top Pick of First Fiction: Favorite Debut Novels of 2016 So Far
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